Australian Census 2016; What you need to know

Monday, August 08, 2016

As demographers and social researchers there are a few calendar events that cause for celebration. Among them include population milestones, special data set releases and, of course, the Census. Rolling around only every 5 years, the Census provides us all with vital information about our nation’s population growth, infrastructure and future-planning needs.

In 2016 the Census will be held tomorrow, Tuesday 9th August. It has been conducted every 5 years since 1911, and is the biggest democratic activity in Australia. While July’s election counted 14 million votes, the 2016 Census will include every household, age group, resident and visitor – all 24 million of us.

So here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming 2016 Census.


This will be the most unique Census Australia has ever seen. In keeping with these technological times, 2 in 3 people will complete their form online, up from just 1 in 3 in 2011 and 1 in 10 back in 2006 (the first time there was an electronic option).


Firstly, the Census will show that our national population is growing, having hit a new record in February of this year and surpassing a population of 24 million people. Additionally, it will also show that Australia’s largest city – Sydney, has broken through the 5 million milestone.

Not only will the Census show that our population is growing, but also that we are ageing. Our population profile will no longer be a “population pyramid”, because for the first time there will be more Australians aged over 55 than under 20.

So the Census will show that our population is growing, ageing and as a result, it will show that we are moving. For the first time this Census will reveal that one in four Australian households live in townhouses or apartments rather than detached houses – the highest figure ever, up from just one in ten in 1966.


This year there will be a change to the religion question with the option of “No religion” now appearing at the top of that question rather than at the bottom, so it might attract some more numbers.

Additionally the question asked of women: “How many babies has she ever given birth to” states “live births only”, but will now include stillbirths and give acknowledgement of that loss And the question: “Is the person male or female” - will allow an alternative blank box for those who identify with neither gender.


Like participating in the election, it is compulsory to complete the Census. But for everyone in the country, not just citizens or residents. The Census and Statistics Act takes sitting the Census very seriously, with fines for non-completion after receiving an order to complete incurring a fine of $180 per day, and false answers can attract a fine of $1800.

But the good news is that the Act takes privacy very seriously as well and answers cannot be divulged by the ABS to anyone – even government agencies. Confidentiality is assured.


If we thought we had to wait a while for the election results, be prepared for a longer wait for the Census findings. It will be analysed at record speed, but that still means a wait of 8 months, April 2017, with the full results not coming out until 2018!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early this morning, Australia passed a significant population milestone. At 12.51 am on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, Australia officially has a population of 24 million people. But who was the 24 millionth Australian, and what does a population of 24 million mean for our country? Because not everyone is glued to the ABS population clock like us, we thought we'd break down what it all means. We're futurists, after all. Find out more below.

Here's who we are and what we look like:

more analysis of australia at 24 million:

A new population milestone

12 vs 24 million

Myth busting

24 facts about australia at 24 million

View the Australian Bureau of Statistics population clock here.

in the media


A new population milestone

Friday, February 05, 2016

A new population milestone

Australia is fast closing in on the next population milestone of 24 million. In the early minutes of Tuesday 16 February 2016, at 12:51am, Australia will officially hit a population of 24,000,000. Because not everyone will be glued to the ABS Population clock (link) like us, we thought we’d give you an advanced peak at what it will show (we’re futurists after all!).

Doubling Australia’s population- in pace with the world

In 1968, Australia’s population reached 12 million and so it has taken 48 years to double. Interestingly, in 1970, the global population was exactly half what it currently is at 7.3 billion and so the world has taken only slightly less time, 46 years, to double.

More than one third of Australians have seen both Australia, and the world double in population size in their lifetime!

A new million- in record time

Australia reached 23 million on 23 April 2013 which means it has added its 24th million in 2 years, 9 months and 2 days. This is the first time that a million people has been added to Australia’s population in less than 3 years. From 1954 when the population hit 9 million, until 2003 when the population hit 20 million, each addition million was added in a time span of around 4 and a half years. From 20 to 23 million, the time span had decreased to add each million every 3 and a half years (keeping in mind the readjustment in the timing of Australia reaching 22 million which was altered due to population adjustments based on the results of the 2011 Census).

And 17 years ahead of schedule

When Australia’s population reached 19 million on 18 August 1999, the factors of population increase were such that the forecast was for the national population to reach 24 million in 2033. However rather than each new million being added every 7 to 9 years as was forecast based on the trends at the time, Australia is adding an extra million every 3 years (increasing from 21 million to 24 million in 8 years and 8 months).

Baby boom, longevity boom and migration growth

Not only has the fertility rate over the last decade been much higher than predicted (and the consequential record baby boom averaging 300,000 births per year), but the increase in life expectancy was also beyond these predictions. And while net migration numbers have been slowing over the last couple of years, growth from migration was, and still is above the forecasts of the late 20th Century.

40 million by 2050

As recently as 2009 the forecast was for the population to reach 36 million by 2050. However, even based on the more modest population growth rate of 1.5% (well below the highs of 1.9% achieved in recent years), Australia’s population will reach 40 million by mid-century, with the possibility of it being beyond 43 million (based on 1.7% annual growth).

24 million of 7.3 billion

While Australia’s population growth is significant in national terms, our new milestone of 24 million is small compared to the US population of 323 million. And in a global context, Australia’s share of the world’s population is just 0.32% - less than one-third of 1%!

Happy 24 millionth Australia!

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


Australian Census internship mccrindle suburb CPI train VIC national crime rates deloitte shopping REIV National Conference Elderslie-Harrington park socialising sydney speaker census results online unaffordable James Ward micro GPO ACT 2012 wedding social shifts Performance Sentiment Index New South Wales panel cooking women research on coffee australian real estate workplace shbc personalities religion money professional celebration bureau internet results sydneycity easy rider NSW ferry keynote speaker research visualisation the hills shire new office responsive story thrive work national private wealth manly Myth coffee lovers VET socialites student greatness nativity scene global retail ACT Report work from home visualisation mortgage water non profit in the media the australian dream follow 24,000,000 mccrindle in the media millennials urban healthy future visual future-proof teaching rise of local workforce quote area learning consumerism volunteers local communities wolloomooloo newspaper storytelling study Australian Bureau of Statistics Australians the hills future of work 40 million Australian Communities Trends demographic Netflix medicine social life McCrindle Keynote Speakers family marriages australian social research builders shopper's pick unemployment conference presentation brand experience Wagga Wagga micro apartments capital cities tea australia group session sector wide data visualisation Tuesday Trend rental stress surnames students hopes SA national wealth Real Estate Institute of Victoria conference cancel plans professional development Christmas lunch training grandparents property winter keynote kate middleton teleworking average Australian emerging trends ACF2017 global commute growth of sydney The ABC of XYZ housing growth Christmas presents tableau cartodb Australian demographics ageing economic long weekend low density collaboration Sydney Hills Business Chamber Australian Home in depth interviews wealth grave decision optus my business awards organisations social impact pharmacies ashley mckenzie Australian communities real office space australian community trends report educhat Northern Beaches Christian School population milestone media release earnings focus group sydney market culture Territory education research annual income career google media commentary Caregiver breakfast Andrew Duffin ageing population care support 2020 Crime Rates ipswich land of the middle class household trends choice workers Research Director food bank education sector house price rise speaker states research report the great screenage shopping centre lifestyle small business easter food intern insight publication marketing hobart baby boom financial independence demography domestic environment Northern Beaches dessert living logan optimistic maiden names moderators guide VET sector wage Financial Planning Association of Australia jobs social commentator baby names report wealth inequality christmas trees who is generation z facts REIV Conference educated 2017 list pyrmont tips Australia street donate census data McCrindle Speakers suburban living demographer financial future urban taskforce TEDx Speaker average sydneysider safe global financial crisis coffee personal growth charities investor customer ease of travel cost of living generational trends award volunteering data 2016 dare to dream school students research pack proactive school satisfaction gen alpha winter blues Christchurch home ownership forecast norwest woolworths new york times cost christian property price engagement survey design increasing densification employers leadersip showreel royal baby futurist Black Friday Sales public speaker mateship cancelling event Melbourne 24 million happy holidays renter of the future spend names cultural diveristy sector wide study Population Clock eliane google for education baby name young people Adelaide System's Architect emerging generations equip surname 2013 Black Friday insights sydney metro stats teachers community engagement CBD future cars investing teach hornsby SMART demographics Valentine’s Day online shopping impact debate budget award winner moreton bay The Daily Edition bondi ACF17 internships darwin trend qualitative research investment chairty hunger 2015 teacher Willowdale economy screenage mover and shaker sun focus groups christmas careers tertiary education FOMO Christmas research financial vegemite social research McCridle cold global generation wealth and income baby name predictions environmental scanning Hunter Valley work mates pharmacy youth unemployment know the times Northern beaches Event Queensland the changing face of christmas 2017 blaxland gold coast society trends social enquiry office media interactive Australia Day 2017 learn australian mccrindle research ideas sports New Zeland clothing divorce tv census fail news children Cobbitty-Leppington community event Australian schools Gen Z Expert ultimo home owner house price public holiday Real Estate cica cloudy days Christmas season Merry Christmas entertainment speakers parents mentor staff survey property market christianity video cash waverton mother's day perth emerging technologies Gen X Jura Australia learner relational workshop optus culturally diverse Tuesday Trends world youth day sydneysiders census EFF house prices owning a home church summer 2016 census results 1980 rising house prices Retail TEDx HR menai business performance shifts cultural diversity spirituality schools princess charlotte seasons donation infographics middle class education dreaming sector global generations city couple tuesday state PSI world contiki Generation Y village analysis property development dreams What is food insecurity? apartment sunny days professional speaker Bathburst skills demographic trends motivate younger generations Wodonga Love households consumer daily commute balance Christmas data daily telegraph parenting brisbane conference speaker Financial Planning Association sydneysider thought leadership data entrepreneurial australians staying home more report the lucky country rule keeper energy NBRS social analysis monarchy innovation English finance IT Specialists Tasmania workplace culture social researchers alpha housing trends snapshot volunteer house typical australian men faith travelling social life Kirsten Brewer Canberra fears Lower Hunter presentation trend tuesday demographic transformations royal influence mccrindle tea Aussies leadership social issues Geoff Brailey Mark McCrindle changing face of sydney HSC australian communities trends report Western Australia professional presenters Maxim Accounting crime Education Future Forum program resource wealth distribution identity brand DIY gender capital city public transport earning transport Australian Population year 7 data analyst Financial Planning Week group NFP event Sydney Lifestyle Study government digital economy society forum Black Friday in Australia not-for-profit Mark McCrindle in the media experience communications local community South Australia baby names narcissism neutral bay change slideshare apartments business index baby name trends lalor park 1994 New Zealand organisational culture census 2016 high density living divorce rate commuting giving going out victoria event holidays affordable sydney event February 16 #censusfail faux-ciliser plans volunteering infographic resilience belief future proof collaborative seasons greetings mythbusting speajer university the average aussie local paying to work criminal acf15 technology market research australian communities forum hello fresh Christmas in Australia housing affordability presentations royal schools students millenials housing Australian community trends generation alpha baby names australia report anzac global generaion Channel Seven researcher Christmas day weather future proofing authenticity Sydney’s south west housing market Christmas day urban development Sydney keynote speaker urban living index office opening etiquette friendship conferences ACF 2016 wages 1968 mining boom public speaking stay home communicate trends analyst poker master trends of 2016 research data NEETs future of education millionth Res Vis trends of 2017 baby Gen Y renting urban living cancelling plans year 12 Work place hills shire casual home jobs of the future communication Aussie Sydney population Northern Territory Engineering Manager NT geomapping innovative dream faux-cilise buildings vegetarian TED challenge social analyst learning styles supply and demand McCrindle Speaker Macquarie University education future weekly earnings sydney property market father's day food insecurity post rationalism social commentary prince george Do It Yourself FPA crows nest aged care weather overcast 1975 priorities retirement research services TDE networking business Australian Families marrickville Social Trend Word Up gen z Hornsby Shire Council employment affordability aged care puzzle Births Channel 7 Deaths SRE not for profit baby boomers royal family social media generations friends ABS salary megatrends maiden politics mythbusters generation poor income forecasting Queensland: QLD social researcher families financial fears leadership workshop average aussie Lower Hunter Region SMSF sustainable communities infographic wall mobile commuters debt research professional services TED talk financial planning curiosity entrepreneurs of today trades do people still change their surname after marriage? screenagers social lives define NBRS Architecture omnibus Australia Day World Water Day population growth population map media activity click staying in Charlotte participants sunburnt country community Duchess of Cambridge events employmer fresh entrepreneur Kiwi US engage Mount Annan-Currant Hill DESTEL happiness sydney hills Sydney digital holiday Australian Trends suburbs eliane miles not for profit research young australians live the dream huffington post Skilling university degree Jura Coffee toys charity gig economy work-life sentiments Scouts child care ACF townhouses Wellington school growing population 10 years Research Executive repayments earn Christmas Stats goal social trends relevant hills gig "know the times" wellbeing Hills Shire Council Business analysis Vocational education outsourcing 2016 census brands product purpose Royals high density selfie speakers pack potts point high density apartments population high school WA financial dreams statistics faux-cilising wealth and income distribution aussie culture litter Australian Dream car ethnography bus goals TAS growth rich graphs tattoos meals rent travel JOMO ashley fell residents Generation X offenders rain Assistant Store Manager marriage 2014 case study recap future of shopping January 26th leader education future report youth mccrinlde generation Z social change nfp employmee 23 million language twentyseventeen meetings